Welcome to the website of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Birmingham

Saying “yes”
By: Claudia C. Elson

My co-worker and friend stopped by my office one day and I admired a small pin on her lapel to which she immediately asked me if I wanted to attend a “Life in the Spirit Seminar”. I quickly said “yes” without any knowledge of what I was about to experience!

This was thirteen years ago and to this day it brings tears of joy to think of how God’s Love was there all along and how my journey with the Holy Spirit began. I now see and believe how my journey with the Holy Spirit commenced a lot earlier when I was baptized and confirmed in my parents’ native country, Ecuador, at six months of age and received these two Sacraments within a week apart! I had never really learned who the Holy Spirit was until I attended the Life in the Spirit seminar (LISS).

I attended the Life in the Spirit seminar in Florida right before moving to Birmingham in 1997, a preparation that I could not have foreseen. Our Blessed Mother Mary put a beautiful soul in my path, Agnes Lee, shortly after moving here, and it was Agnes who recommended the “Thursday night prayer group” at Our Lady of Sorrows in Homewood. Well, the first Thursday in January 1998 came and I went with another friend, Nancy Hull, who had never attended a charismatic group either. Neither of us had any idea of what we were doing, however, just felt led to go that night where there was only another couple in a small room singing songs from a cassette tape and a book. Nancy and I looked at each other questioning if we should stay, and we both said “yes”. Again, I did not know what I was saying ‘yes’ to.

This began my journey with the Holy Spirit in the Charismatic community in Birmingham and I loved every bit of it! I faithfully attended every week, rain or shine. I found a group of friends-in-Christ, a new family, where I would see every week to pray and sing with them. We brought our joys and our sorrows to the throne of God at every meeting, and always adhering to the teachings of the Catholic Church and Magisterium, inviting Our Lady and all the angels and saints to be with us.

Through this prayer group and attending other conferences and seminars, God was teaching me more about the gifts of the Holy Spirit and how to use His gifts for His Kingdom and Glory. He enabled me to participate and help with other LISSs taught from this group, hosting two LISS in Spanish, and conferences here in Birmingham. This was all God because I did not know what I was doing; however, it was all possible working together as a “team” for the Lord…..All things are possible with God!

I leave you with one of my favorite scriptures of God’s plan for each one of us. All we have to do is Believe and Trust in Him. He has so much LOVE to give. We just need to say “yes” to Him. ~ Jeremiah 29:11-14